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The Power of Thankfulness: 5 Essential Tips

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
G.K. Chesterton

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
Robert Brault

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

This week many of my readers will celebrate Thanksgiving.

So I thought it would be a good time to share a handful of my favorite tips for making thankfulness a daily part of life.

Because being thankful for what you have is one of the simplest and easiest ways to lift your mood. To give your motivation a jolt. And to live a happier life.

No matter who you are or where you live in the world.

1. Pause and look around yourself.

A simple first step to being more thankful is to pause during your day and ask yourself these two questions:

  • What are 3 things I can be thankful for in my life today?
  • Who are 3 people I can be thankful to have in my life and why?

If you don’t come up with 3 people and 3 things each day then that is OK. One thing or person is great too.

But if you can, try to not repeat yourself too often. Instead, think of more people and things to be grateful for to, day by day, expand your thankful view of your world.

2. Express your thankfulness.

Don’t stop at just coming up with people for whom you are grateful to have in your life.

Take a few seconds to tell them about it. This will make their lives happier. And as their faces light up with a smile you’ll feel happier too.

Now, that gratitude could just be a small sentence. But it can have a big impact on someone’s day, week or even life.

So be sure to make the small effort to express it.

3. Look towards yourself too.

It is not only things that are important. Or other people.

You are important and valuable too.

So appreciate that.

Ask yourself:

What are 3 things I can be thankful for about myself?

It could be that you were a good sister during a crisis last week. It could be that you finally got done with that boring or difficult task you had been procrastinating on.

Your self-gratitude does not have to be all about achievements. You can simply be thankful for your good sense of humor. Or the help you give your friends and family by being a good listener from time to time.

And the thankfulness doesn’t have to be about big things either. It could simply be about the fact that you floss for a couple of minutes in the morning.

4. Be thankful for the things you may take for granted.

The things we get very used to having can become things we take for granted. But they are not things everyone in the world has access to.

A few such things that I like to reflect upon and feel very thankful for having are:

  • A roof over my head and a warm home.
  • Plenty of drinkable water.
  • That I don’t have to go hungry.
  • Being able to enjoy the small and free pleasures of life.
  • Access to the internet so that I can learn and connect with people.

I have found that being grateful for things like these are especially helpful to zoom out and to put my situation in perspective when I am going through a tough time in life.

5. Start or end your day with thankfulness.

To make thankfulness into a habit that sticks find a regular time for it in your day.

For example, you can start your day in a good way by finding 3 things to be grateful for about yourself over breakfast.

Or you can take a few minutes in the evening, just before going to bed, to use a journal to write down 3 things you are grateful for about your day.

Try a tiny time commitment like one of these and see what impact it has on your life.

Image by Mr. Theklan (license).

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{ 43 comments… add one }
  • Renee Skudra

    I am thankful for you! and the fact that beautiful droplets of rain are hanging on the dogwood tree in front of my house … and all kinds of birds are on our lawn feeding from the many dishes of birdseed we have left for them this morning.. and the skies are dappled with gorgeous cloud formations and the air is crisp and clean.I am grateful for my beautiful 24-year-old son Nils (you will know that means “champion” in Swedish!) who has taught me the virtues of humility, empathy and determination and is having great academic success in his first year of graduate studies for the MA degree in History at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. I am grateful for my mother and her family who were French and German Jews and Holocaust survivors being able to make it safely to the United States, where we can practice our faith freely and without fear. And I am grateful for the fact that our extended family can say thanks for God’s blessings in a multitude of languages because we are now a highly diverse group of peoples from at least 15 countries. Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving and love and light in their lives.

  • very much thankful on reading a good piece of advice. One should always be thankful what god/nature has given to him or any person has done for him. One should not be ungrateful

  • Julie

    Very Practical.
    Am grateful for the piece of advice..

  • Jibril Mohammed

    It gives me immense pleasure to glorify Allah every moment of the day for the things he has blessed me with which I have asked for and those I didn’t ask for because a lot of people forgot to thank Allah for the things that he has blessed them with that they did not ask for. May his name be exulted forever. Thank you for the wonderful gift of life.

  • This is so good. I especially love the 1st tip. We often get so caught up with our lives that we forget how wonderful everything around us is and don’t soak it in. Taking the time to breathe in life can do so much to improving our state, to be happy. Awesome stuff! 😉 #keepgrowing #keepcreating

  • jasleen kaur sachar

    it is a good piece of counselling the mind. The mind full of thoughts and worries due to which human being forget to thank for the actual things he have in his life… the worries are only for what they don’t have. May be by reading your blog the individual start becoming the part of their own life.

  • Russell Frederick

    Being grateful keeps one grounded…humble and happy.

  • Sweet post. I will definitely share with friends and my readers. 🙂 Thank you!

  • Ajayi Kehinde

    I appreciate God for your life
    and this blog. it has open my eyes on those things and people I should be grateful to. God bless you and more wisdom from God.

  • This is a wonderful article. If only we could be more thankful and grateful in our everyday lives, we’d live a more peaceful and loving life. Thank you Positivity Blog for making my day with this post.

  • this is the best content to motivate the ideas of all activity

  • Karen Hartmann

    What if we have it all upside down? If you find out that all your trying to be a better person, be happier, find the right relationship or relax more is actually the very thing which is in the way of what you are looking for? What if your loneliness is gone the moment you stop trying to get rid of it?

    Sounds crazy?

    It isn’t. I have been in and out of relationships all my life. Happy or not so happy. And always there was this lingering fear of being left, the fear of being lonely. You know it? Probably you do.

    Truth is that 99% of us fearing being alone. We do all we can to avoid it. We make plans, we work, we do yoga, we fall in love, we start a new „thing“, we are constantly on the go – even when we „try to relax“. We dread this moment of „nothing to do“.

    We fear this moment and yet, most of us do not know what will happen when we do a full stop. We just never did. We believe that we will not be happy or feel lonely when „nothing is happening“. Thing is, we do not know. As most of us have never really stopped.

    I have been running away from what I was craving the most: to be at peace: by trying (to be at peace). And trying harder when it did not work. Everyone is telling us what to do, how to not feel lonely, how to be relaxed and happy. So we try another mindfulness meditation and wonder why it only works with so much effort. And why with the next thing your husband says to you – you are back to your old stressed self.

    We are tried out. So, here is my wisdom of the day: don’t try. And most importantly, do not try to not try. Get it? If not, then try a bit harder.

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